As a homeowner, you are going to have a whole host of responsibilities, stress, and pressure heaped on your shoulders pretty much every single day of the week.
You’re going to have to worry about your mortgage, your insurance payments, whether or not your home needs serious repairs performed, and a bunch of other things that are pretty much par for the course as a homeowner – but you’re also going to want to add finding (and eliminating) termite infestations before they blow up into gigantic problems to that list as well.
One of the biggest concerns that homeowners in the United States have to be on the lookout for, termites can absolutely decimate a structure faster than just about anything else – with some studies suggesting that termites do more than $5 billion of damage in America alone every single year.
Hard to imagine that those ridiculously small insects are able to do so much damage so quickly, but that’s the cold, hard truth of the matter.
The last thing that you want to have to deal with is an out-of-control “wildfire” termite infestation problem. Nip it in the bud long before it gets to that point by looking for these obvious signs of an infestation in its early form.
Knock on wood to find termites
One of the easiest ways to find out if you are dealing with termites on your property is to go around “knocking on wood” – literally banging on your wooden structures to listen for the sound of hollow areas where there shouldn’t be any.
Termites will (very rarely) eat from the outside in except for creating the tunnels that allow them to get into the softer parts of wooden structures – which means they will leave a “shell” that can hide termite damage from you.
Go around knocking till you find hollow sounding areas and then inspect a bit further, and you’ll likely find that those nasty little termites have been eating away at your home or buildings.
Look for swarms
A handful of termites here or there is going to be cause for alarm for sure, but you’re really going to want to be on the lookout for swarms of insects.
Once you start to reach swarm size masses of termites, you’re really looking at a critical mass of headache and hassle that’s about to come your way. If you do spot a swarm of termites, make sure that you call in professional experts to do a bit of exterminating – or you are going to deal with a termite problem that rages out of your control until there’s next to nothing left of your home.
Check the cracks and discolored paint
Termites are pretty lazy little insects, and will look for an easy meal before they decide to tunnel into brand-new wood.
You’re going to want to check your home for any signs of obvious damage, cracks, or areas that are left unpainted or unfinished (and exposed to the elements) – as that’s exactly what termites will be hunting for as well.
You’ll also want to look for paint that seems to be discolored or weathering much differently than the rest of the surrounding area, as that’s a surefire sign that termites are already getting to work behind the scenes.
Look for little mud tunnels on your property
Termites love to build little mud tunnels right up against your home’s foundation to provide a bit of “living space” while they go out and hunt for food. If you find mud tunnels next to your home they need to be destroyed. If you are stacking anything that can create a bit of extra moisture (mulch, firewood, wood chips, etc.) near the home you need to relocate it all away from your property or you’re just inviting them in.